History of the Sacramento IWW: Alleged Shenanigans

Shows a wooden shoe labeled "sabotage" crushing a snake labeled "exploitation".  The caption below reads "Don't wear sabots, it hurts the snake."
A sarcastic IWW cartoon from the 1910s.

The following are all summaries of articles that appeared in the Sacramento Bee:

October 24, 1913 – A verbal fight breaks out between a socialist speaker and some “IWW elements” that apparently needed the presence of two police officers. It’s probably for the best that the panicked citizens of Sacramento lived before Twitter existed.

July 20, 1914 – Hop growers are afraid that the IWW is plotting to destroy and kill and are begging for the protection of the state. It’s far more likely that they actually fear their hop fields being organized right out from under them, but murder and violence sound better.

July 21, 1914 – Don D. Scott, a member of the Sacramento IWW local, is forced to explain that the IWW isn’t planning on carrying “on a campaign of violence, murder, and well poisoning during the coming hop season” after another local IWW is overheard making a joke about stocking up on rifles to protect against the bosses’ hired guns. The Sacramento local probably should have invested in a giant sign with those exact words since this won’t be the last time they have to say this.

November 8, 1915 – The IWW is accused of creating an elaborate plot to set parts of California on fire as revenge for Ford and Suhr being thrown in jail for “starting” the Wheatland Hop Riots. This is, of course, a state that tends to be on fire at this time of the year for non-IWW reasons.

August 7, 1916 – C.I. Lambert, the then-secretary of the Sacramento IWW, is accused of receiving a letter from the alleged dynamiter Mooney asking for “direct action reds” to make their way down to San Francisco. A ‘concerned citizen’ takes offense at the idea that “bomb-throwing anarchists” would exist in Sacramento and suggests they should all be suppressed immediately. Again, it is likely for the best that the ‘concerned citizen’ lived before the advent of social media; the first guillotine joke they come across would probably give them an aneurysm.


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